Judge tosses lawsuit over Sept. 11 cross ADA adviser stunned by allegations Ousted legislator arrested
NEW YORK -- A judge on Friday tossed out a lawsuit that sought to stop the display of a cross-shaped steel beam found among the World Trade Center's rubble, saying the artifact could help tell the story of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
U.S. District Judge Deborah Batts rejected the arguments of American Atheists, which had sued the National September 11 Memorial & Museum's operators in 2011 on constitutional grounds, contending that the prominent display of the cross constitutes an endorsement of Christianity, diminishing the contributions of non-Christian rescuers.
Batts wrote that the cross and its accompanying panels of text "helps demonstrate how those at ground zero coped with the devastation they witnessed during the rescue and recovery effort." She called its purpose "historical and secular."
"No reasonable observer would view the artifact as endorsing Christianity," the judge said.
The 17-foot-tall steel beam was found by rescue workers two days after the terror attacks. The museum, still under construction and scheduled to open next year, is part of a memorial plaza that includes waterfalls that fill the fallen towers' footprints.
TULSA, Okla. -- A consumer adviser for the American Dental Association says he's stunned by allegations of unsanitary practices at an Oklahoma oral surgeon's office that put thousands of people at risk for hepatitis and HIV. Dr. Matt Messina is a consumer adviser for the American Dental Association and a practicing dentist in Cleveland.
Messina said Friday that allegations of unsanitary practices involving Dr. W. Scott Harrington break the chain of trust that dentists work to achieve.
Oklahoma health officials sent letters Friday to all 7,000 patients they found in Harrington's records. The letters urge patients to be screened for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and the virus that causes AIDS.
LAS VEGAS -- A disgraced Nevada politician who just hours earlier had been expelled from the State Assembly in an unprecedented vote was arrested outside Barstow, Calif., after a high-speed chase with police.
Steven Brooks was being held Friday on charges that included resisting arrest and throwing objects. His arrest came after state lawmakers in Carson City, Nev., voted to remove him from office, calling him "potentially dangerous."
The arrest marked the continued downward spiral of a politician with multiple run-ins with authorities in recent months. Brooks, a Democrat, represented a blue-collar district in North Las Vegas.
The personal descent began in January when Brooks was arrested on suspicion of threatening a fellow Democrat, Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick.
Within days, he was briefly hospitalized for psychiatric evaluation after a quarrel at his grandmother's house involving a sword.
Not long afterward, the father of four was accused of grabbing for an officer's gun during an arrest in Las Vegas on suspicion of the domestic battery of his wife.
From our wire services